citizenship and immigration canada
the weekly voice

Ottawa— The federal government will start issuing open work permits to help the spouses of Canadians already living in the country but waiting for permanent residency, under a one-year pilot program launched today.

The one-year pilot program comes after it was reported that thousands of Canadian families are living in limbo, unable to work and without health coverage, due to lengthy processing times in their sponsorship applications.

“As we promised, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is launching a pilot program that will allow spouses being sponsored under the Inland Spousal Sponsorship program to receive their work permits much sooner while we process their applications,” a spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said on Monday.

“This ensures that they can provide for their families and contribute to Canada’s economy at the same time,” Kevin Ménard commented in an email.​ ​

Blair Hacche, a New Zealand man and his Canadian fiancée Jenn Ward live in Dorchester, Ont., with their 13-month-old son Dexter and 6-year-old Ewan, Ward’s son from a previous relationship.

Hacche, who has been in Canada since February 2013, was facing more than a year wait when he submitted his application for permanent residency this past July.

This story originally appeared on The Weekly Voice.